In the Book of Job 2:2-10 we read, “And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (3) And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. (4) And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. (5) But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. (6) And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. (7) So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. (8) And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. (9) Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. (10) But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
Note again in verse 4, “and still he holdeth fast his INTEGRITY,” and in verse 9, “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine INTEGRITY?” Here are two illustrations giving us something to think about as a Christian on the matter of “Integrity in small things.”
Illustration One: Shortly after a preacher moved to Houston, he had occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself. You had better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, Oh, forget it; it's only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare, and they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet. When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change."
The driver, with a smile, replied, "Aren't you the new preacher in town? I've been thinking lately about going to church somewhere. I just wanted to see what you would do, if I gave you too much change. I'll see you on Sunday." When the preacher stepped off the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on and said, "O God, I almost sold Your Son for a quarter." You need God. He is the only refuge we have that will never disappoint.
Illustration Two: A wealthy man said to his servant of many years, "I must leave the country for a while. In my absence I would like you to build me a house. You can design and construct whatever you like. I trust your judgment. I have left money to cover the materials, expenses and your time."
Once the servant started work on the project, he decided to cut corners wherever he could and increase the amount he billed for his labor. He used materials that looked good but were poor in quality, figuring that by the time the house started to deteriorate, he would be long gone—enjoying the money he was siphoning from the budget.
After a year, the wealthy man returned from his trip and inquired after the house. "Everything was completed on schedule, sir," replied the servant. "And are you satisfied with what you have created?" asked the wealthy man. "Oh, yes," lied the servant. "Good, because I want you to have this house as a token of my appreciation for your years of service to me." The servant was ashamed—and dismayed. He'd already squandered the money he'd embezzled; now, he was saddled with a house that would forever remind him of his lack of integrity.
In His Amazing Grace,
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